7 Years and a night of macabre of events, finally reached its climax at 5.30 a.m Tihar Jail.
Our Judicial System stood by the phrase — Justice delayed is not Justice denied.
Even hours before the execution, Advocates of the 4 convicts in the Nirbhaya Case were stalling around availing all the legal remedies that they could to stay the execution.
But the beautiful sunrise of 20-03-2020 brought an end to the horrifying night of 16-12-2012, this is the morning when Nirbhaya’s Soul would have been set free, it’s the day of freedom and justice for that one soul and hope for many others.
Execution of the 4 Convicts in the ghastly Nirbhaya Gang-Rape and Murder case went through several twists and turns especially every time the death warrant was issued but was stayed and not just once but four.
Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and Mukesh Singh were hanged till death after the exhaustion of all the legal remedies till the eleventh hour.
The question is where are we as a society on the scale of humanity?
Let’s have a look at the series of events that happened a night before the execution:
Delhi’s Patiala House Court dismissed the petition filed by the Convicts of the Nirbhaya Gang Rape and Murder Case.
The petition was filed with regard to staying of their execution scheduled for tomorrow at Tihar Jail.
The four convicts are set to be hanged tomorrow. The four convicts approached courts filing pleas seeking relief from capital punishment.
The four men have been convicted for the gang-rape and murder of a young woman who was brutally assaulted in a moving bus in Delhi in December 2012.
Supreme Court: The Court has dismissed the curative petition of Pawan Gupta, one of the convicts in the 2012 Nirbhaya gang-rape and murder case, who had moved the court against the dismissal of his review plea. In his petition, Pawan has claimed that he was juvenile at the time of the crime in 2012.
This comes as Gupta, along with three other convicts, Mukesh Singh, Akshay Singh Thakur, and Vinay Sharma. are scheduled to be hanged on March 20 at 5.30 am.
Three of the four death row convicts in the Delhi gangrape case, including Gupta, had also approached the International Court of Justice (ICJ) earlier this month, seeking a stay on the execution of their death sentence.
The 23-year-old paramedic student, referred to as Nirbhaya, was gang raped and brutally assaulted on the intervening night of December 16-17, 2012 in a moving bus in south Delhi by six people before being thrown out on the road. She died on December 29, 2012, at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore. Besides Mukesh, three others – Akshay, Vinay, and Pawan are facing the gallows for the heinous crime that shook the entire nation. One of the six accused in the case, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in the Tihar Jail here.
On July 9, 2018, the Court had dismissed the review pleas filed by the three convicts in the case, saying no grounds have been made out by them for review of the 2017 verdict.
On December 18, 2019, the 3-judge bench of R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, JJ rejected the review petition of the last convict, Akshay Kumar Singh, seeking modification and leniency.
On January 21, 2020, the 3-judge bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna, JJ had dismissed the Special Leave Petition filed by Pawan Kumar Gupta, one of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya Gang rape case where he “reagitated” the plea of juvenility.
A juvenile, who was among the accused, was convicted by a juvenile justice board and was released from a reformation home after serving a three-year term. Two of the convicts are yet to file curative petitions before the Supreme Court.
Another accused, Ram Singh, allegedly committed suicide in Tihar Jail in March 2013 during the trial. Another convict, who was a minor at the time of the crime, was sent to a reform facility and released after three years of the crime.
Justice Manmohan to AP Singh: We’re close to the time when your client will meet God. Don’t waste time. We’ll not be able to help you in the eleventh hour if you cannot raise an important point. You have only 4-5 hours. If you have a point then come to it. [ANI]
“Law favours those who take timely action. For 2 and a half years till March 4, 2020, what have you been doing? You are blaming us? It is already 10.45 pm, execution is at 5.30 am. Give us a substantive point.”
Bench tells advocate AP Singh, time is running out, there is not enough time.
Delhi HC says divorce plea of convict Akshay Kumar Singh’s wife not relevant to stay execution. [PTI]
These are death warrants. This is the fourth one. Some sanctity should be given to them: Court [ANI]
Advocate AP Singh says, justice hurried is justice buried. Court says to Singh, you have not raised a single legal point.
We find no foundation in your plea says Delhi High Court.
Delhi High Court dismisses the petition filed by the death row convicts. To be hanged tomorrow morning at 5.30 a.m.
Lawyer Shams Khawaja, appearing for convicts, begins making submissions.[ANI]
President of India at an event made public his sentiments that death row convicts in sexual assault cases do not deserve mercy. He was prejudiced against us even before the first mercy plea. [ANI]
Court: Once a Judge signs a Judgment, he cannot touch that again. You want to carry on, go on! We will sit here till 5.30 am and pass the judgment. Be our guest to take it beyond 5.30 am and then we will pass the judgment.
Court expresses displeasure over lawyers continuing arguments.
Delhi High Court says no foundation has been given in the petition. It has been filed without any index, list of dates, memo of parties, annexures or any affidavits. [ANI]
Advocate A.P. Singh representing the Convicts says: “Will go to Supreme Court when I get the order copy. I have spoken to Registrar, I will go to him.”
[BREAKING] [Midnight Hearing of the Gruesome – Nirbhaya Case] |Petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy petition and seeking stay on execution — dismissed; Convicts to be hanged at 5.30 am today
The convicts are to be hanged at 5.30 a.m. and the legal remedies in the Nirbhaya Verdict are still being availed by the convicts.
Special Bench to sit for hearing at Supreme Court after dismissal of petition on stay of execution by Delhi HC.
Bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna, JJ. decided, that
Petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy petition and seeking stay on execution — dismissed; Convicts to be hanged at 5.30 am today.
Supreme Court to hear the petition of all four death row convicts, seeking stay on execution.
Advocate A.P. Singh has challenged the order passed by the Delhi High Court.
Bench of Justice R. Banumathi to sit for the hearing.
Hearing at the Supreme Court has begun. Less than 3 hours remaining for the scheduled execution of the Nirbhaya Convicts.
Supreme Court begins hearing in the petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy plea by the President and seeking stay on execution. [ANI]
Bench of R. Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and A.S. Bopanna, JJ. hearing the petition.
Advocate A.P. Singh makes his submissions before the Bench.
Advocate AP Singh appearing for convict Pawan shows to court school certificate, school register,& attendance register of Pawan claiming he was juvenile at the time of crime. Justice Bhushan says these documents were already filed by him before courts. [ANI]
Justice Bhushan asks what are the grounds on which AP Singh (advocate of convicts) is challenging the rejection of mercy petition? Justice Bhushan further says AP Singh is raising grounds that have already been argued. [ANI]
We are not inclined to entertain the plea Supreme Court observes.[ANI]
AP Singh, advocate of death row convicts says – I know they will be hanged but can it (execution) be stayed for two-three days to record (convict Pawan’s) statement. [ANI]
Justice Banumathi is dictating the Order.
Supreme Court dismisses the petition of death row convict Pawan Gupta against rejection of his mercy plea by the President and seeking stay on execution.
A. P Singh, advocate of death row convicts asks court to allow family members of convicts to meet them for the last time for 5-10 minutes. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says jail rules don’t permit it and it is painful for both sides. [ANI]
† Legal Editor, EBC Publishing Pvt. Ltd.